Tehran (ICNA) – Qatar’s endowments and charities have undergone an increasing transformation over the past 100 years, from the days of “Sharia Courts” to the present day, with the country having one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations.
Qatar has grown rapidly since the discovery of oil in 1939, but remained under British control until 1971. After independence in 1971, it became one of the richest countries in the region, due to its huge oil and gas revenues. All sensitive government positions in Qatar are headed by Al Thani or close associates.
The historical period of endowments in Qatar, after the discovery of oil, was called the “Shari’a Courts” period, from 1939 to 1958, and the decisions and rulings of judges and rulers were oral and no writings were issued except on the date of the request, and there were no official books or writings for decisions and rulings. This was also true of endowments, and a note from one of the city’s scholars or sheikhs suffices.
In 1941, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Mahmoud, the head of the Sharia courts in Qatar, established a center to deal with endowment issues and issue endowment letters.
In 1990, the Ministry of Endowments began work with the formation of a board to review the status of endowments.
The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, one of the most important ministries in Qatar, is responsible for maintaining and maintaining mosques, security and peace centers for Muslims, spreading Islamic culture and highlighting the importance of religion in society. .
The General Office of Endowments is responsible for monitoring and controlling endowments in Qatar. Among the most important responsibilities of this office is the management of endowment affairs and investments according to economic bases or religious and legal standards in order to develop, protect and use them in accordance with the terms of endowments. This office is also responsible for implementing decisions and regulations issued by commissions or courts of law.
The Zakat Fund operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs established by Law No. 8 of 1992, and began its activities in 1995. This office is responsible for collecting and using Zakat and alms. For the poor and needy, and other specific expenses.
Qatar Charity seeks to encourage generous donations and organizes courses, seminars and specialized jurisprudence lectures to familiarize the public with the characteristics of Zakat.
The “Islamic Call and Guidance Office” in Qatar includes various departments and the Qur’an Memorization Center, which encourages young people to memorize the Qur’an by offering valuable prizes and organizing competitions. It also sends support convoys to implement social and cultural programs in cities and villages.
Schools, centers and community institutions provide various services to call people to Islam. This office has established educational centers to serve women in the cultural, intellectual and sports fields in accordance with Islamic Sharia.
The Mosques Office is a division of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, dealing with issues related to mosques, issuing building permits, identifying mosque needs, organizing courses for imams and muezzins, Friday prayer sermons, Eid prayers, and lectures. In mosques, reviewing violations committed by mosque employees, annual plans for the maintenance of mosques and imams’ homes, preparing and implementing mosque building and maintenance activities, and finally preparing a database for mosques, prayer rooms and staff.
The main mosques are the Qatar Grand Mosque in Doha, the Hamad International Airport Mosque, and the Mosque of the University of Islamic Studies in Qatar.
In the field of Islamic affairs, an office has been allocated to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to revive the Islamic heritage, where it collects the writings of ancient scholars and manuscripts, organizes free distribution of Islamic books in the fields of jurisprudence, culture and art inside and outside the country, and publishes magazines, films, audio and video files.
The Hajj and Umrah Affairs Office supervises Hajj affairs and establishes contacts with Saudi officials and the Saudi Ministry of Hajj in order to facilitate matters related to Hajj and Umrah. It also monitors the Saudi government’s commitment to the security, health, nutrition and accommodation of pilgrims.
The “Islamic Research and Studies Office” is a department of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, dedicated to Islamic research and studies, with the help of scholars from the Islamic world. So far, 135 books on Islam have been published in this office which contains a library of rare and very valuable books on jurisprudence, literature, culture and art.
In 2006, the Emir of Qatar issued an order establishing an organization at the governmental level to deal with endowment issues in the country. The organization operates under the direct supervision of the Emir and is headquartered in Doha. This institution aims to manage endowments and investments, own endowments in accordance with the economic bases and in accordance with the law and Sharia, develop and maintain endowments, and supervise the implementation of employment conditions, decisions and laws issued. by the courts.
In 2006, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs’ Endowments Bureau was abolished by a decree issued by the Emir, and all responsibilities of this office were transferred to the Qatar Endowment Foundation from 2006 to 2009.
According to the prospects set by Qatar for the year 2030, to become a leading country in the field of development and economic and social justice, many programs have been developed. One of these programs was an order from the Emir of Qatar establishing the Ministry of Administrative Development along with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. This decree was issued in 2013 and 2014, and defined the tasks and objectives of this ministry.
The largest charitable organization in the country is the Qatar Charity Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1992 to develop Qatari society, organize disaster relief, generate income, and develop education and health services.
The organization is one of the main charities active in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries [Persique] (comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman), operates globally in more than 25 countries, with offices in the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Indonesia.
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